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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bad Economic Numbers

Despite some good economic indicators, the news is mostly disappointing, with potentially harmful effects for the president's reelection changes. The Washington Post reports:
Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.

From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.

Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.
Bloomberg reports:
Demand for U.S. capital goods such as machinery and communications gear dropped in July by the most in eight months, a sign manufacturing will contribute less to the economic expansion.

Bookings for non-military capital equipment excluding planes slumped 3.4 percent, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Total orders for durable goods, those meant to last at least three years, jumped 4.2 percent, paced by a 54 percent surge in demand for civilian aircraft.
Bloomberg also reports:
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits climbed last week to a one-month high, showing scant progress in the labor market that’s left Americans more pessimistic about the economy.
Jobless claims rose by 4,000 for a second week to reach 372,000 in the period ended Aug. 18, Labor Department figures showed today (Aug. 23) in Washington. Consumer confidence dropped last week to the lowest level since January, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.